Couple charged with animal cruelty after tiger cub and bobcat found inside South Side home

Jeremy Nathan Martinez, Cristela Coronado charged with cruelty to livestock and torture

SAN ANTONIO – Two people were arrested Friday in connection with an animal cruelty case that involved a tiger cub and a bobcat that were being kept at a South Side home.

Jeremy Nathan Martinez, 25 and Cristela Coronado, 21, are charged with cruelty to livestock and torture, according to Bexar County arrest records.

On March 16, Bexar County sheriff’s deputies seized the tiger cub and bobcat from a home in the 3100 block of Shane Road. Officials were told the bobcat was roughly five years old and the tiger cub was around 13 weeks old.

According to an arrest affidavit, deputies and animal control officers were investigating the home for housing a wild cat. They went inside and found the bobcat inside the dining room area. When questioning Coronado about the animal, they noticed large paws clawing from from the space under the laundry room door. Coronado told deputies it was the tiger.

Deputies and an animal control officer said in the affidavit that the tiger’s fur appeared to be dry and unkept. The bobcat also appeared to have unstable legs and a limp.

Martinez, who Coronado said was her boyfriend, arrived a short time later and told deputies that he fed the animals regularly and would go as far as bottle feeding the tiger cub in the morning and after work.

However, after examining the animals, the ACS investigator stated in the affidavit the felines were “housed in a manner that causes unwarranted pain or suffering due to lack of nutrition and care.”

The investigator said Martinez and Coronado “did not maintain the felines in a state of good health due to the failure to provide necessary food, water and veterinary care.”

The affidavit later stated that the tiger appeared to be underweight and in worse condition than the bobcat.

Martinez and Coronado admitted they were the owners of the animals and Martinez was taken into custody that day for outstanding warrants. The animals were initially taken to the San Antonio Zoo while sheriff’s conducted their investigation.

Martinez and Coronado were booked into the Bexar County Jail on Friday and later released on a $5,000 bond while they await a court hearing, records show.

About the Authors:

RJ Marquez is co-host of KSAT News Now and reports for Good Morning San Antonio. He's been at KSAT since 2010 and covered a variety of stories and events across the San Antonio area. He also covers the Spurs for on-air and digital platforms, including his Spurs newsletter. RJ has reported stories for KSAT Explains.

Jonathan Cotto is a reporter for KSAT’s Good Morning San Antonio. He’s a bilingual award-winning news reporter and he joined KSAT in 2021. Before coming to San Antonio, Cotto was reporting along the U.S.-Mexico border in South Texas. He’s a veteran of the United States Navy.